4 Responses to “What IS Romantic Suspense, Exactly?”


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  1. Heh. I posted about this exact thing about a week ago on Facebook. Your post is excellent. And I’m ashamed I didn’t think of Mary Stewart. My current series is fantasy based, but certainly has suspense elements. How do we change the emphasis from ROMANCE to Romantic Suspense?

    • Thanks, Anny.

      How do we change the emphasis of what, exactly? Your stories, readers’ perceptions? Not sure I’m following you there.


  2. I think I was wondering how we signal a shift from primarily romance to more suspense elements–for potential readers–especially readers who’ve read our racier romances.

    • I think readers are making that shift for themselves — by preferring and buying more beefy stories, and letting authors and editors know via ratings and reviews when romances are too light-weight for their tastes.

      When you see comments about “I wish more time had been spent on xxxx….” or “I would have liked to have found out what happened after xxxx,” then you know the story wasn’t developed enough for the reader(s) tastes, but they haven’t got the technical terminology to say they wanted a more substantial plot. Or comments like “boring” or “too long” usually indicates there wasn’t enough story, too.

      But there’s all sorts of ways of hinting there’s a muscled-up story so the reader knows in advance. The blurb is the primary tool. Tags are a good one, too.

      I hybridize my categories these days, too. I write historical romantic suspense, and urban fantasy romance, and paranormal romantic suspense, etc. VIVIAN’S RETURN I billed a contemporary romance/action-adventure — because the action storyline was secondary to the romance story-line. Indie publishing makes it a lot easier to pull this sort of cross-categorizing off, though.



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